The new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2022 (plug-in hybrid EV) was launched in August offering a new-generation PHEV system for Aussies with up to 84km of pure electric driving.
The previous model offered 54km of electric driving so there has been an increase in range, interior space, and battery size, as well as safety and tech improvements. Full stats and figures can be viewed here.
What She Just Said about the Outlander PHEV
Driving around town, the Outlander PHEV can easily serve as a full-time electric vehicle after charging it overnight. During our two-week test drive, we plugged the car into a standard electricity outlet once we ticked over to off-peak electricity every night. It wasn’t until we hit the open road from Canberra to Sydney that we experienced switching from EV to hybrid petrol power.
Over the 600km return road trip, the Outlander averaged just under 7L/100km. This seems reasonable compared to other cars we have driven to and from Canberra of similar size and weight but they have varied between 8 and 10L/100km. The beauty of the PHEV is you don’t need to stop and recharge the car once you deplete your battery. While there are a number of charging stations along the way between Sydney and Canberra, recharging will add at least an hour to your journey and then there is the potential problem of finding an available station.
Range anxiety is a thing
The EV charging map on the Transport for NSW website revealed the task of finding convenient charging stations was harder than we thought. Some were off the main road, which meant a detour. There are notes on the website for charging station locations such as ‘The only gotcha is a doughnut van often uses these outlets during Saturday/Sunday during business hours.’ Not encouraging for those running a pure EV that require charging along the way. So long story short, until we have better EV charging infrastructure between major cities, PHEV technology is my preference.
We test-drove the Outlander Exceed, one model below the top of the range, Exceed Tourer. In addition to the Exceed model, it offers two-tone exterior body colour; two-tone high-grade leather interior (black and saddle tan); and driver and passenger seat massage function. The interior is just as good as a comparable European car – if not better – with its luxurious quilted leather upholstery. Even the doors feature quilted leather upholstery which is a nice touch.
Another feature I enjoyed about the Outlander PHEV was how smooth it was to drive around town – it feels like you’re gliding. After driving it for several days, I jumped in my ‘other car’ and I felt like I was driving with the handbrake on. Granted, I’m not comparing apples with apples, but the driving experience between a conventional combustion vehicle and a PHEV is vastly different. It’s also considerably quieter internally – which makes listening to music via the excellent BOSE sound system very enjoyable.
The panoramic sunroof is a bonus, as is the wireless smartphone charging base. The storage options are well thought out and you’re not struggling to find spots to place your keys, phone or drink bottle. When I passengered in the back seat, I was pleasantly surprised by the very handy map pockets behind the driver and passenger seat to pop your phone, sunglasses, book or other flat items in.
The overall experience in the latest Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been very positive and certainly a real contender for those looking to move into the PHEV space. While I’m not quite ready to move to the full EV experience because of the lack of infrastructure and price tag, the Outlander PHEV is certainly one I would consider in a move towards a more sustainable option.
What He Just Said about the Outlander PHEV
It is no wonder that Mitsubishi has sold out of the 2022 Outlander PHEV. Inside, outside, driving or as a passenger, the Outlander has something for everyone and does it all quietly, comfortably and efficiently.
From the outside, the Outlander presents an unmistakably bold profile, wrapped in state-of-the-art LED lights and riding on 20-inch alloys.
Inside, the Outlander is even more impressive. The quilted leather upholstery throughout the Outlander is super comfortable and the quilted leather lining on the doors adds to the luxurious experience. 8-way power adjustable front seats with dual memories are great to personalise the Outlander just the way you want it.
The 31cm high-res digital driver display is very useful, displaying information such as drive modes, navigation info, Apple car play details as well as what setting your windscreen wipers are on – which is sometimes a bit of guesswork in other vehicles. Of course, the 27cm head-up display is also a great feature.
Double-pane windows for a quieter ride
In addition to the super comfortable seats, the Outlander is quiet. A combination of the EV and double pane windows and windshield ensures that you can take full advantage of apple car play (and android auto) on the fantastic Bose stereo.
By far the most amazing tech feature of the Outlander is the PHEV. In two weeks of city driving, we averaged 92% EV driving, utilising the 20 kWh battery which works effortlessly, smoothly and above all quietly. When required, the Outlander will seamlessly switch between EV, Series Hybrid and Parallel hybrid ensuring you have all the power required for climbing hills or overtaking on the freeway. Take your foot off the accelerator and the regenerative power system kicks in, to channel energy back to the battery.
Charging the battery at home from a normal 240v power point took about 9.5 hours from empty to a full charge providing another 84 km of driving enjoyment.
What did I like most about the Outlander? Definitely, the EV functionality combined with the luxurious interior, quiet ride, Bose stereo and huge sunroof. Did I want to say goodbye to the Outlander…definitely not! I could see the Outlander PHEV making a permanent home in my garage.
Note: What He Just Said (aka Stuart) is the resident male who is an automotive enthusiast and car tech geek.